In a breakthrough study, Japanese researchers have developed a 'living doll' with the help of human liver cancer cells - a development that could allow new drugs to be tested in conditions closer to those inside the body.
The doll developed by Shoji Takeuchi, from the University of Tokyo, Japan would serve as a research model for testing new drugs.
The structure was grown using about 100,000 beads of the connective protein collagen, seeded with cells from a human liver cancer culture and tipped into a body-shaped mould, reports New Scientist.
The surface of each bead contains cells that secrete proteins and collagen that bind all the cells together.
The resulting product is much closer to living tissue.
Takeuchi plans to use it to grow structures containing multiple cell types. These could even function as whole test organs.